College curriculum: From textbooks to tablets

Can you imagine the Indiana University campus completely devoid of textbooks? If so, you’re not alone. Book pagesMany college students nationwide think traditional textbooks could be a thing of the past as soon as the year 2017, new survey results show.

This news comes as tablet ownerships on college campuses jumped from 7 percent of college students in 2011, to 25 percent in 2012, according to new information from

What are the benefits of converting from traditional textbooks to e-textbooks viewed on a tablet?

  • Savings. While a tablet can be a pretty major investment up front, e-textbooks typically cost less than half the price of traditional textbooks. With each passing semester, savings add up for students.
  • Convenience. Think about this: Instead of lugging around multiple textbooks, notebooks and binders, and a laptop, a student with e-textbooks can consolidate all of his or her classroom and study-session needs on one device. In addition, Hoosiers who use the IU Mobile app will have access to an even greater number of resources, all on one gadget that fits nicely into a backpack.
  • Sustainability. Can you imagine how many trees will be saved if all college students start using digital textbooks!?!

While textbook-free classrooms sound cutting edge to many, we’d like to note that the idea has been in the works for some time at IU. Three years ago, IU was the first college to pilot a program in which e-textbooks were mandatory curriculum for certain courses, according to USA Today.

With that progressive approach, it’s only a matter of time before the campus goes completely digital.